Frank Lamping couldn’t imagine how his parents would have reacted if they were around to hear that Lamping was a namesake of a school.
His parents were German immigrants with limited education, and Lamping not only earned his master’s in education but also served more than 30 years as an educator and principal.
To top it all off, Lamping Elementary, 2551 Summit Grove Drive, bears his name.
“It is the high mark of a career,” he said.
Lamping was the seventh child of a first-generation American.
After graduating from North Catholic High School in Pittsburgh, he served three years in the Korean War.
When it was time to go to college, Lamping knew education was a calling.
“I always had a yearning to teach,” he said.
He received his undergraduate degree from Slippery Rock State Teachers’ College and then his master’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh.
From there, he taught in the Pittsburgh Public School District.
One day while teaching his high school class, Lamping said a man came in and asked to observe the classroom. After the class ended, the man told Lamping he was in the area to recruit teachers.
“I noticed he was sunburned, so I asked, ‘Where are you from?’ ” he said. “He said he was from Las Vegas.”
Lamping said he was interested in interviewing.
“The guy told me he had already seen everything he needed to,” he said.
In 1963 Lamping moved to Las Vegas and joined Clark County School District as a coordinator of special education.
After years in the classroom, Lamping made the leap and became a principal in 1965.
“I was looking forward to it,” he said. “I had been in the classroom a while and learned a lot of techniques. I knew how a school could be run.”
He served as principal at six schools in the valley — Paradise Elementary, Hyde Park Junior High, Orr Junior High, Guinn Junior High, Burkholder Middle School and White Middle School — and opened two of them.
“My claim to fame was being able to turn junior highs into middle schools,” he said.
Junior high schools, he said, were miniature high schools that didn’t prepare students for the transition. Middle schools were designed to help the transition process better.
Under his leadership, Guinn Junior High received the President’s Excellence in Education Award.
Lamping also received the School-Business Partnership Award, was named a Milken Family Foundation honoree and was inducted into the Clark County School District Hall of Fame.
During his career, he took a year off to work as the Senior Vice President of Valley Bank before returning to education.
In 1992, Lamping opened White Middle School, where he worked as the principal until he retired in 1994.
“I just felt it was time,” he said. “I wanted to do other things like travel.”
Lamping couldn’t believe that he was going to become the namesake for a school when it was announced in 1989.
“Just wish my parents could have seen it,” he said.
After his wife, Betty Lee, died, he had the library at the school named in her honor.
He continued to travel, as part of his post-career goal.
But even after retirement, he couldn’t stay away from the school district.
“I am there one day a week,” he said. “I help out with fundraising, too.”
Chris Jenkins, the assistant principal at Lamping Elementary, said it is special to have the school’s namesake interact with students.
“He is involved with everything from reading to baking cookies with the kids,” Jenkins said.
Lamping said he is at his school every Friday to help, whether it’s with the reading or science program.
“I am lucky to be alive to see my school doing well,” he said. “Not a lot of people who have schools named after them get to see that.”
Contact Henderson/Anthem View reporter Michael Lyle at email@example.com or 702-387-5201.